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Joan Ronalder, Animal Trainer Extraordinaire!

NetPlaces Network Staff

 

National Pet Press interviewed Joan Ronalder, one of America’s foremost multi-species animal trainers and top-booked performers. Reprinted with exclusive permission.

 

 

Joan’s Liberty Horse Act was a famous attraction at national horse show events ranging from Hunter-Jumper to Working Quarter Horse competitions.

 

By early 2001, Ronalder had become the top-booked performance act in America’s theme parks and rodeos! Among her unusual acts was a Brahma Bull under saddle (photo above) and her “dog and pony show” thrilled audiences from Canada to Florida.

 

Ronalder’s loudspeaker-narrated story of the Indian Maiden and Dancing Horse act always brought chills, tears and standing ovations! Yes, she wrote the script.

 

 

(Excerpt from National Pet Press newspaper)

Your Dancing Horse Drama was so unusual and so emotionally moving to the audience! Did you script it as well as train the Appaloosa and the Paint? Did you make your own costume? And is it true that the Paint was considered mean and un-trainable?

JR: I wrote the script and designed the costume. I also trained the horses to work to the script. Yes, the Paint was very dangerous but I never gave up, perseverance is the keynote.

 

NPP: How often do you work your animals between performances?

JR: I don’t. If they are properly trained they don’t forget, they just need to stay in physical condition to perform.

 

NPP: You traveled from Mexico to Canada and we imagine the responsibility of caring for the animals had to be huge, but what about your personal safety?

JR: I traveled with my big German Shepherd Dog “Colonel”. He was all the safety I needed, plus he protected my animals from the curious public while I was performing or away from my rig.

 

 

NPP: It has been said that a couple of the dogs in your act were very wolf-like. How did you train the pony to allow them to jump on and ride four-astride?

JR: It was a process of building the pony’s confidence and teaching the dogs not to bite and chase.

 

NPP: Don’t you sometimes miss the adoring crowds and life on the road?

JR: No, it’s been great to be able to stay home and concentrate on developing the mind and working abilities of my Czech import dogs.

 

Learn more about Joan Ronalder in ProFiles

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